Garage space is no longer simply about storage or man caves. While still a space to park your car after a long day, garages are often a flexible space that are being included in the home’s footprint. Our experts offer some ideas for designing or redesigning a garage space with style.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, in 1950 only 41 percent of new homes had no garage, while today 91 percent of new homes have a garage, and 83 percent have a two-car or larger garage. Focused entirely on practicality, garages were often left unfinished and lacked heating and air conditioning making the space a place where homeowners don’t spend a lot of time. In recent years, homeowners are looking to make the space functional, inviting and useable for any need their family may have. Thinking about things like flooring, storage, and finishes ties the garage into the rest of the home and makes it a place a homeowner wants to play instead of just walk through.
While the garage’s main function may always be storing vehicles, in a survey, our experts ranked the biggest trends in garage design. Organization was at the top of the priority list with smart technology, cabinets, and overhead racks coming in a close second. “Homeowners are looking for creative ways to store all the things they need, while still making room for their vehicles. Fully utilizing the full height of the walls and the ceiling allows our garages to work smarter not harder” says Mindy Bledsoe of Tailored Living. Linda Carlquist of Artisan Custom Closets agrees saying, “The need to stay organized and be able to easily access what you are searching for” is important in garage design.
As with most elements of life these days, technology is playing an important role in garage design. Andrea Shealer points out, “With technology being in the forefront of many clients lives it has also taken precedence in the garage as well. Whether adding TVs, sound systems, electronically based gym equipment or an electric car, many times technology dictates the direction of the design.” Shealer encourages homeowners to consider placement and amount of electrical access as that can dictate a lot about their design.
With more homeowners spending more of their time in their homes, space is easily the #1 priority when expanding how a homeowner lives in their home. Being that the garage is likely the 2nd largest space in the home, our experts point out that homeowners are using their garages for a multitude of uses. Homeowners are using their garage space for home offices, workout rooms, kids’ hangout areas, craft rooms, or even a second kitchen. “Very often our clients want to create workbench space to allow them to work on woodcraft hobbies. Just like with in-home crafts, it’s extremely helpful to create a place for all the tools and materials needed, so that a self-described handyman can get right to work and not waste time finding what he needs. We have clients who have turned a portion of their garage into a workout space with floor space for gym equipment and shelve to store hand weights, yoga mats, etc. After completing a great garage makeover with epoxy flooring and cabinets, we had one creative client use her garage for her child’s birthday party. All the family garage stuff was behind doors — everything was light and bright and clean, and it kept the kids out of the elements — and, she was able to hose out the garage floor when the party was over!” relates Mindy Bledsoe.
One of the biggest design features is the garage door. In a survey our experts note that the most popular design of the garage door is modern, with custom design and carriage house coming in a close second. Kimberly Kelly of K7 Interior Design reports that garage interiors have evolved over time in part because the homeowner passes through the space and improving the overall garage aesthetic “makes coming home a less stressful, more pleasant experience.”
Experts also point to organization and storage as a focal design point. Custom cabinetry, and countertop space are main garage design considerations. Having a place to store everything away and keep the space clear and things easy to find move the garage from utilitarian to functional.
Adding beauty to the garage space is also important. Our experts point out that focusing some attention on the garage floor will help make the garage more enjoyable. Our survey results show homeowners should consider a textured look and feel, rubber flooring, neutral color, and an eco-friendly coating are all top of the list when considering finishing the garage floor.
“Probably one of the hottest new trends right now is the arrival of epoxy floors. These brilliant floors protect the garage for a lifetime of wear and tear while completely changing the game for the garage,” says Alex Self of Best Tech Coatings.
In the end, our experts agree it’s important to be true to how you want the space to function and add your own unique design touches to the space by adding some character to the space with color, storage, and function. Our experts offer these tips for designing the garage of your dreams:
“One of my favorite design tips are to add some character to your garage that best fit your style! Paint the interior garage door, or paint inside the garage! These are small things that make a big difference in the space because many garages are left unfinished.” Andrea Shealer, Simply Simplistic Organization & Design.
“Find a designer that listens to the client and will help them understand the functionally of the space and take them to projects so they feel the space with products installed.” Rick Scott, TGG Garage.
“Focus on storage, storage, storage.” Lisa, CD Doors “Plan for the future. If the long term goal is Aging or Living in Place, make sure to add space for an accessibility ramp, space to get in and out of the vehicle with a walker or wheelchair, or even a stroller.” Deborah Hayden, DC 7 Designs
“Avoid white in your garage; not matter how clean you are, dust and dirt flies around when you pull your car in and out. Opt for one of the new matte finishes in gray or taupe. They look like painted wood but will last a lifetime. Also, the matte finish doesn’t show fingerprint and stays looking clean.” Lisa Carlquist, Artisan Custom Closets.
“Don’t settle for your garage just being the family catch-all space. We value the things we keep in our garage so why wouldn’t we want them organized in a way that we can find them when we need them, protect them from damage and allow us to maximize the use of the space. A one-time investment of an appropriate storage solution for the garage will be less expensive in the long run than a perpetual contract with a storage facility.” Mindy Bledsoe, Tailored Living
There are a number of sources for garage design in the Greater Nashville area including:
Artisan Custom Closets Nashville, TN 404-641-9898
Best Tech Coatings Nashville 615-866-8749
Beth Haley Design Nashville, TN 615-228-3664
California Closets Franklin 615/ 367-1030
CD Doors Brentwood, TN 615-400-5170
Closets by Design Franklin 615/ 261-8700
Cobb Home Innovations Woodbury 615/ 439-0438
Coldwell Banker Barnes Mount Juliet, TN 615-485-2428
DC 7 Designs Nashville, TN 615-490-2637
DEAS Arlington TN 901/ 786-4477
French’s Cabinet Gallery Brentwood 615/ 567-5697
Just Design This Nashville 615/ 705-9836
K7 Interiors Franklin 615/ 513-8937
RescueMyGarage Nashville 615/305-7841
Simply Simplistic Organization & Designs Smyrna, TN 703-728-7865
Tailored Living Nashville, TN 615-590-8775
TGG Garage Spring Hill, TN 615-302-0006